Esta Miriam Epstein
November 15, 2006
Esta Miriam Epstein died peacefully at the age of 101 on Nov. 13 at Heritage Park Care Center in Carbondale, where she had resided for eight years. Esta was born in the Bronx, New York, on Feb. 16, 1905. The middle of three sisters, she graduated from high school and attended college for a short time before going to work in a millinery (hat-making) shop. In 1927, she married Harold Epstein and had two daughters, Susan and Laurel, whom they raised in Larchmont, N.Y. Harold preceded her in death in 1997.
During Esta’s time in the millinery studio she became interested in fabrics, colors, textures and clothing in general, and continued her talent of assembling color and texture by collecting fine fabrics from many parts of the world and transforming them into beautiful clothing. She was a housewife who volunteered in a daycare center during WWII and later volunteered her time to Hadassah, B’nai B’rith, Lighthouse for the Blind and Burke Rehabilitation Center. She also volunteered as a teacher of conversational English to Japanese women.Since the late 1940s, Esta and Harold traveled extensively throughout the U.S. and to numerous international destinations collecting orchids and rock garden plants, especially Japanese specimens. They established a beautiful and renowned garden of rare and exotic plants, which was frequented by international horticultural visitors.
In addition to Esta’s devotion to her family, she enjoyed socializing, flower arranging, weaving, silver jewelry-making, enameling, symphony concerts, theater productions, walking and attending exercise classes, cooking and entertaining, traveling, and enjoying fine foods and dark chocolate. She was known and loved for her kindness, generosity and compassion; her zest for life, her enthusiasm for constantly learning new things, and her indomitable spirit.
Esta is survived by daughters Laurie Loeb of Carbondale and Susan (Theodore) Cherbuliez of South Freeport, Maine; granddaughters Ariane Cherbuliez (Cambridge, Mass.), Lisa Cherbuliez (Needham, Mass.), Nicole Cherbuliez (Portland, Maine), Diana Cherbuliez (Vinalhaven, Maine), Juliette Cherbuliez (Minneapolis), and six great-granddaughters.Private celebrations of Esta’s life will take place in Carbondale and New York. Donations may be made in her honor to Roaring Fork Hospice, P.O. Box 1970, Glenwood Springs, CO 81602.